What is going to Twitter’s board say? Tech analysts are divided over Elon Musk’s takeover bid


2022-04-15 08:59:33

Ask ten tech insiders about the way forward for Twitter proper now and also you’re more likely to hear at the very least 5 totally different solutions.

Some are dismissing Elon Musk’s $54.20 per share bid to take the corporate non-public. Others are taking it very significantly and predicting Musk will prevail. Nonetheless others are salivating as they watch from afar. “Nicely, this might be entertaining,” the WSJ’s editorial board opined Thursday night time.
Once I put the future-of-Twitter query to fellow CNN+ host Scott Galloway, he stated “I do not assume it is a critical supply and the market would not assume it is a critical supply,” noting that the inventory closed down 1.7% on Thursday. Galloway referred to as Musk’s transfer a “false flag.” He stated “the market has interpreted this, and I feel appropriately, as, ‘I am about to promote my shares,’ and in consequence,” the inventory worth slipped. (You’ll be able to watch our full CNN+ particular report right here.)
Another analysts had been equally skeptical on Thursday. However Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson stated he would urge Twitter “to take this supply and run,” citing the corporate’s many enterprise challenges. And monetary journalist and former banker William D. Cohan stated the anti-Musk takes had been all unsuitable: Twitter “is toast,” he wrote for Puck. “The job for the Twitter board can be to do no matter it could actually do — which is not a lot — to make the very best take care of Musk that it presumably can. And it’ll try this. And Twitter can be bought to Elon Musk. That is the best way the world works. His worth is honest and there can be no increased bidder. That’s until Musk flakes, and walks away, which he is been identified to do.”

What is going to Twitter’s board say?


It is a sturdy sufficient supply that Twitter’s board has a duty to significantly think about it, and CEO Parag Agrawal is claimed to have informed staff that the analysis course of remains to be ongoing, in response to reporting by The Verge and others. The board might reject the supply or put in place defensive mechanisms that would pressure Musk to the negotiating desk. Musk might additionally make what’s referred to as a young supply to purchase shares en masse instantly from shareholders. And one other potential purchaser might emerge from the woodwork. In any case, there’s going to be extra chaos surrounding the corporate within the coming days. Extra right here…
>> Associated: Casey Newton’s thought on the finish of the day: “I do not know who’s going to personal Twitter when all is claimed and carried out. However I fear that occasions of the following weeks and months are going to be unhealthy for the corporate, and the product…”
>> Alex Heath’s prediction: “We’re about to see a messy takeover battle play out between Twitter, Musk, and probably others…”

Has Musk actually thought this by means of?!


On stage on the TED Convention on Thursday, Musk framed his supply to purchase Twitter in the identical “civilizational” phrases that he describes Tesla’s mission: “This isn’t a option to generate profits …. having a public platform that’s maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extraordinarily vital to the way forward for civilization.” Listed below are two notes after listening to his remarks:

>> Musk stated he needs Twitter to open-source its algorithm in order that customers can see when (and by implication, why) the platform takes motion on their content material. However it’s not clear how a lot this may obtain, on condition that it might nonetheless be as much as the corporate to really implement any modifications individuals counsel, assuming (and that is a giant if) it’s even potential for the common particular person to essentially unpack how the algorithm truly works…

>> It is putting how little Musk appears to have thought concerning the arduous circumstances on speech. His ideas mainly quantity to 1) non-promotion of controversial tweets and a pair of) extra use of short-term suspensions, that are tweaks by diploma, not “civilizational” change. There are legions of lecturers and advocates and attorneys who’re professional within the complexities of speech and speech moderation, and Musk is riffing as if he is participating on these hypotheticals for the primary time and lands on the cop-out, “I am not saying we’ve got all of the solutions.” As an alternative, Musk would like that every one the arduous circumstances be resolved by making use of the simple rubric of “does somebody hate this speech? Then it should be free!” Which is a gigantic oversimplification of the realities of speech…

“Conservatives embrace Elon Musk as their Twitter savior”

That is the headline atop this Politico story, which completely displays right-wing media’s protection proper now. Once I glanced over at Fox’s “The 5,” the banner took Musk’s POV as reality, stating “MUSK TRYING TO SAVE FREE SPEECH WITH TWITTER BID.” Later within the day, Tucker Carlson commented on the air, “Is it unhappy that we’re all determined for Elon Musk to avoid wasting us? Sure it’s. However who else goes to avoid wasting us? No one, at this level.” For a snapshot of the suitable’s considering on this matter, try this Elle Reynolds column at The Federalist…

Additional studying

For subscribers of The Data, Jessica Toonkel and Martin Friends detailed the individuals deciding Twitter’s destiny: It’s “more likely to be decided by a small circle of individuals,” together with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Silver Lake chief Egon Durban… (The Data)
— Kara Swisher says “it is arduous to know what somebody like Musk will do at any time.” (NYT)
Christine Emba wrote: “What does it imply when a billionaire can nearly single-handedly swoop in and eat up this kind of communications platform? The straightforward reply is nothing good…” (WaPo)
— Early Twitter investor Fred Wilson: “Twitter is simply too vital to be owned and managed by a single particular person. The alternative needs to be occurring. Twitter needs to be decentralized as a protocol that powers an ecosystem of communication services…” (Twitter)
— Of be aware: “Asset supervisor Vanguard Group not too long ago upped its stake” in Twitter and now owns 10.3%, which means Musk is not the highest shareholder… (WSJ)

Yet another be aware about Twitter…

Conservative author David French’s view is that Musk is attempting to purchase a damaged web site. Twitter is comparatively small, “disproportionately influential with the political elite, and distorts each the suitable and the left in deeply harmful methods,” French writes in his newest e-newsletter for The Atlantic. The platform positively “punches properly above its site visitors in uncooked cultural affect,” however, French argues, that cultural affect “is dangerous to either side of America’s partisan divide.”
Naturally, his level is greatest summed up in a tweet: “A number of people have a hate/want relationship with Twitter. They hate the social dynamics, however they really feel like they nonetheless want to succeed in their friends and their followers. If it will get extra poisonous, hate will override want…”

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